I can remember in the mid 80s BT launching a telephone chat line. I think it must have been the first of its kind in the UK and i even remember the advert featuring the BT Buzzby Bird! It was clearly aimed at loners and vulnerable teens and cost a fortune. You would call the number and end up in a "chatroom" with loads of others, all talking at the same time (like an early type internet chat room).
I can rememebr my mum would work nights and i would spend hours on the chatlines (which in those days were very innocent and manned by an opperator, not like today's filth!) talking with loads of people all trying to chat each other up.
I can also rememeber when the plug was pulled (probably due to the massive phone bills parents up and down the country were receieving) it was at 5pm one friday afternoon and there was a host of us all crying down the phone to each other, pledging to be friends forever, as if it was the last day of term and then the line just went dead! That was the last i ever heard of them. Mind you i doubt anyone had actually used their real name or been honest about themselves.